Title: A context-specific mediating schema approach for information exchange between heterogeneous hospital systems

Authors: Surendra Sarnikar, Amar Gupta

Addresses: Doctoral Student in MIS, 1130 E. Helen St., Rm 430, Eller College of Management, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA. ' Thomas R. Brown Chair in Management and Technology, Professor of Entrepreneurship and MIS, Senior Director for Research and Business Development, Eller College of Management, McClelland Hall 417H, University of Arizona, P. O. Box 210108, Tucson, AZ 85721-0108, USA

Abstract: Secure and seamless exchange of electronic patient-care information among heterogeneous interoperable systems is an important goal for future healthcare information systems. However, fast and efficient exchange of information between heterogeneous healthcare systems is inhibited by the variations in the data models used to define patient-care records, and the prohibitive costs associated with standardisation and software upgrades. In this paper, we analyse the factors impeding the adoption of interoperable healthcare systems and propose the use of a mediating schema-based approach that can enable interoperability and also minimise the impact of the impeding factors. The proposed mechanism uses context-specific mediating schemas for data translation and can enable the seamless exchange of electronic patient-care records between different healthcare systems. Our approach builds on existing technologies and is specifically adapted to the healthcare context. We illustrate the viability of our approach using a scenario relating to pre-hospital to hospital information exchange.

Keywords: electronic patient care records; heterogeneous hospital systems; information exchange; mediating schemas; healthcare technology; healthcare information systems; electronic healthcare; e-health; interoperability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2007.013165

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2007 Vol.8 No.3/4, pp.298 - 314

Published online: 11 Apr 2007 *

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